Varney Speed Lanes Lockheed
Orion 9 NC12225 (c/n
This particular airline was not, strictly speaking, a true descendant
of Continental Air Lines, but I
it here since there is a
relationship. Walter T. Varney had made several forays into the
airline business. In fact United Air Lines can
trace its heritage to his Varney
Air Lines, first incorp-
orated in 1926.
Anyway, in October 1931, after
selling Varney Air Lines to United, Walter floated
company, Varney Air Service, providing scheduled operations between Los
Francisco. After Lockheed Orions had been purchased, the
operating name was changed to
Speed Lanes. Just to confuse the issue, some of its aircraft were
painted "Varney Speed
Lines". In 1934 Varney
formed the Southwest Division of the company (see next entry)
in El Paso,
after winning the contract Air Mail bid from El Paso to Pueblo.
This operation was taken
over by Varney's partner (his former lawyer) Louis H. Mueller.
Varney in the meantime folded the
California operation and started up again in Mexico, where the Orions
were re-registered in 1934.
became XA-BHC. The photo above is from the William T. larkins
Lockheed-provided print below shows an oft published image. I
also found the nice color
drawing of a
(below) produced by a modellers' group.
(If "WB" could please identify
would like to give credit).